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The Little Thief (1988)

La petite voleuse (original title)
R | | Drama | September 1989 (USA)
In a small town in post-World-War-II France, an unhappy sixteen-year-old (Janine Castang) tries to escape her dreary situation by any means at her disposal. Three successive friends (Michel... See full summary »

Director:

Claude Miller

Writers:

François Truffaut (original scenario), Claude de Givray (original scenario) (as Claude De Givray) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlotte Gainsbourg ... Janine Castang
Didier Bezace Didier Bezace ... Michel Davenne
Simon de La Brosse ... Raoul
Clotilde de Bayser Clotilde de Bayser ... Séverine Longuet
Raoul Billerey Raoul Billerey ... Rouleau
Chantal Banlier Chantal Banlier ... Léa
Nathalie Cardone Nathalie Cardone ... Mauricette
Renée Faure Renée Faure ... La Mère Busato
Catherine Arditi Catherine Arditi ... La directrice école
Gilbert Bahon Gilbert Bahon ... Le brigadier
Clothilde Baudon Clothilde Baudon ... Bonnin
Joëlle Bruyas Joëlle Bruyas ... Soeur Marie-Odile
Denise Chiabaut Denise Chiabaut ... Le doctresse
Philippe Deplanche Philippe Deplanche ... Jacques Longuet
Erick Deshors Erick Deshors ... Raymond
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Storyline

In a small town in post-World-War-II France, an unhappy sixteen-year-old (Janine Castang) tries to escape her dreary situation by any means at her disposal. Three successive friends (Michel Davenne, a married lover; Raoul, a fellow thief; Mauricette Dargelos, a photographer and fellow prisoner) help her learn from her mistakes. Written by English Showalter <showalte@crab.rutgers.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Last Story from François Truffaut... See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

September 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Little Thief See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,055,416
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Fujicolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

François Truffaut's scenario offered the leading character Janine Castang as a female counterpart to the character Antoine Doinel in The 400 Blows (1959). See more »

Connections

References The Fighting Drummer (1953) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Jane of Hearts
22 April 2008 | by richard_sleboeSee all my reviews

She steals from the church to go to the movies. Janine, you've got to like her. But her own life is unlike the song-and-dance pictures she likes so much. It's more like a ballad, set to music in a minor key. As Bob Dylan famously put it: "She'd come away from a broken home, had lots of strange affairs, with men in every walk of life which took her everywhere." While Janine may have the genes of a flirt and a crook, it's the men she meets that take her from petty theft to grand larceny. She finds out the hard way there are limits even for a pretty girl and ends up in a nunnery that is half poorhouse, half prison. By showing us what she does, rather than narrating what happens to her, Claude Miller brings to life a story (written by none other than François Truffaut himself) that may easily have turned out corny at a lesser man's hands. The 1950s rural and Parisian sets are designed with just the right mixture of dedication and détente to make you forget it's only make-belief. The whole thing feels entirely natural and deeply touching at the same time. The biggest credit, of course, is due to the amazing Charlotte Gainsbourg and her arresting performance in the part of Janine. She resists the temptation of playing her as a teenage martyr and makes her a cheeky Cinderella instead.


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